Former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell has been accused of emotional and physical abuse. The allegations were made by ex-girlfriend Melissa Lingafelt in a string of TikTok videos on Wednesday, as Entertainment Weekly reports.
According to Lingafelt, she and the Drake & Josh actor dated for about two years beginning in 2006. Everything started out fine enough. “I started dating Drake when I was 16. I was homeschooled, I moved in with him. I was singing,” she recalled, before detailing how things quickly deteriorated.
“It wasn’t until about a year when the verbal abuse started, and when I say verbal abuse, imagine the worst type of verbal abuse you could imagine and that’s what I got,” stated Lingafelt, who is now 30 and also goes by the stage name Jimi Ono.
His behavior only got worse from there, she said: “The verbal abuse then turned to physical. Hitting, throwing. Everything. At the pinnacle of it, he dragged me down the stairs in our house in Los Feliz, my face hit every step on the way down. I have photos of this.”
Lingafelt never displayed any of these pictures, but she did pull up text conversations with a friend who seemed to corroborate her allegations against Bell. “I remember the pics. I remember the physical fights. I remember him throwing you in a bathtub and scalding you with water,” wrote her friend. “I remember him breaking all your antiques and I also remember calling the cops on him and having to stay at Molly’s house until shit fizzled over.”
In later TikTok uploads, Lingafelt continued to plead her case. “Everyone that really knows me and has been a friend of mine for the past 15 years, knows all too well of the abuse that Drake Bell put me through,” she said. “I have so many witnesses, I have photos, it was my life. If you don’t believe me, it is clear to me what kind of person you are, and I don’t need that on my side.”
The actress also suggested Bell had sexual relations with underage girls. “I don’t even want to get into the underaged girls thing,” she said. “I mean, I will. But I’m scared.”
Lingafelt then showed screenshots of messages she’d received in response to her initial TikTok videos. In these messages, an unnamed person accuses Bell of raping them, as well as two other individuals, when they were still under 18.
“Nobody wants attention from abuse!!!!!!!” Lingafelt said in another video, seemingly getting ahead of any potential backlash. “I hope this gives girls the strength to come out about their experiences with him, because I know for a fact he has hundreds of victims.”
Bell has steadfastly denied Lingafelt’s accusations. In his own statement, he said that his relationship with the actress “ended — more than a decade ago — we, unfortunately, both called each other terrible names, as often happens when couples are breaking up. But that is it.”
Despite Lingafelt’s claims to the contrary, Bell believes that his accuser is simply on a “misguided quest for more money or attention.” “Clearly, Melissa still felt close enough to me just last year that she was comfortable reaching out to ask me to provide her with financial support during a tough time (which I did),” stated the 34-year-old actor.
Bell remarked that he is currently looking into “legal options” against Lingafelt.